Terminus by John Schlesinger


Before John Schlesinger made his debut feature, A Kind of Loving (1962), he directed a number of short documentary films. Terminus (1961), a day in the life of the Waterloo railway station in London, is the most notable of these, an award-winning snapshot of a period when Britain’s railways were still nationalised and steam trains were about to vanish from regular service. The film has that crisp, black-and-white photography so typical of the early 1960s, a look which renders close-ups with uncanny fidelity and makes the outmoded fashions—the bowler-hatted men and gloved women—seem all the more curious. A year later Orson Welles was deploying a similar style when photographing the dishevelled splendour of the Gare d’Orsay in Paris for his film of The Trial.

For a different take on London’s railway stations there’s Terminus by analogue electronic outfit Node, a track inspired by concerts they played live at Paddington station in 1995.

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